Over the years, interest in other sports has waned. That’s partially just getting older - who has time for tertiary sports once you have a job and other responsibilities? - yet covering hockey for a living narrows things down even more (the NBA clashes with the NHL to a legitimately frustrating extent).
The genius/luck of the NFL is that you can be close to a hardcore fan even if you only watch one game a week, so really my final bastion of unabashed fandom comes in rooting for the big dumb animal that is the New York Giants.
So, as the last team I root for wholeheartedly - though still with a relative detachment thanks to following sports all too closely - I’d like to thank the universe for Eli Manning to Odell Beckham. It’s a blast to watch, as Odell is probably the greatest athlete I’ve followed in a solid decade (at least one who’s playing for my team).
Here’s hoping he can stay healthy, as he’s truly special. And he’s mine mine mine.
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CAPITALS 4, PENGUINS 1
-- The Penguins sent Rob Scuderi to the Chicago Blackhawks for Trevor Daley. I'm not sure how much of a real-life boost this is, but it could be great for fantasy, obviously depending upon how he's used.
Daley rode some pretty crazy percentages (14.2 shooting percent) last season in easily marking career-highs in goals (16) and points (38) in just 68 games last season, but there's the potential for Daley to produce fairly well in Pittsburgh.
I'm not saying grab him right away, but maybe monitor his situation and consider him as a bargain in FanDuel?
-- Rough debut for Mike Sullivan behind the Penguins' bench, but Pittsburgh at least generated plenty of scoring chances. Braden Holtby continued to build his Vezina resume by stopping 44 out of 45 SOG. That's a season-high shot total for Pittsburgh, by the way.
-- T.J. Oshie delivered a hit that seemingly hurt Beau Bennett (yep, he might be hurt again) and then really added insults to injury by scoring two-third period goals to ice the game. Oshie now has 10 goals and seven assists as he also produced a helper in this one.
-- Relatively quiet stretch for Alex Ovechkin from a production standpoint, as he only has two goals and zero assists in his last five games. He's generally shooting and hitting and should be just fine overall.
OILERS 3, BRUINS 2 (OT)
-- If the 2016 playoffs began at this moment, the Oilers would be in it. In fact, they'd be the third seed in the Pacific. Yes, that's as much an indictment of the division as it is praise for the Oil.
Still, it's pretty special to see this team on a six-game winning streak, especially with Connor McDavid watching with his arm in a sling (or wherever his shoulder rehab is at).
-- Edmonton picked a good time to put Cam Talbot back in net, his first appearance since Nov. 27.
Talbot made 47 saves, a new career-high.
Considering the cash going to Talbot, it wouldn't be shocking if he got back in the rotation a bit with Anders Nilsson. Honestly, he earned it, even if it's just a quick peek.
-- Both of Andrej Sekera’s career OT GWG’s have come against Boston. Hooray for specific stats.
LIGHTNING 2, BLUE JACKETS 1
-- Joel Vermin got hurt on Monday, whittling the Lightning down to 10 forwards in this contest. Fairly impressive that Tampa Bay managed to win the SOG battle (29-26), although Columbus did get the late edge with a 12-6 third period advantage.
-- Brian Boyle scored the SHGWG and had quite the game overall, delivering six hits and logging 19:27 TOI.
-- Steven Stamkos kicked in a goal that didn't count and had just one SOG. My guess is he's saving himself for Tuesday night in Toronto?
-- Ben Bishop deserves some Hart/Vezina hype, at least if he maintains this fantastic start. He stopped 25 out of 26 shots on Monday. He's now allowed one or two goals in his past six appearances. He's now 13-9-2 with a fantastic .931 save percentage.
SENATORS 5, KINGS 3
Mika Z scored a goal and two assists while Hoffman managed two goals and one assist (along with a +4 rating). If you ask me, Hoffman was robbed of a hat trick goal as he was interfered with during what would have been an ENG attempt.
To me, it was another example of the NHL's strange inclination toward not leaning toward goals. It was the wrong call in my mind, but the larger pattern remains (and is pretty amusing).
-- Jonathan Quick saw his six-game winning streak end in ugly fashion, as he allowed five goals on just 21 shots. He was also on a 7-0-1 run before this defeat ... so I think the Kings can let this one slide.
SABRES 2, RED WINGS 1
-- Chad Johnson hasn't been great by any means, but he's probably just right for Buffalo: passable. In stopping 32 out of 33 shots in a strong performance, Chad Johnson improved to 8-9-1 with a mediocre (but, again, acceptable) .911 save percentage. They don't want Johnson playing TOO well, after all.
-- Petr Mrazek saw a three-game winning streak end on Monday, although he played well (28 out of 30 saves). Hard to argue that he's the obvious go-to guy, and Detroit may not have the margin of error to wedge Jimmy Howard in there too often.
-- The better Buffalo gets, the crazier that Ryan O'Reilly trade will look for Colorado. I know that there were hurt feelings on both sides there, but Patrick Roy may have justified his presence to some extent if he merely found a way to mend the fences between ROR & Co. Instead, they gave up a crucial center and Buffalo is laughing all the way to the hockey bank.